Man conducting interview

Interviewing accounting candidates can be challenging. You need to ask the right questions to find the best fit for your organization. Here are a number of important interview questions you should be asking accounting candidates.

What type of company culture do you see yourself succeeding in?

If a candidate has the required skills and experience but does not blend with the culture, the candidate will not be happy or perform at their highest level. Finding a “good cultural fit” is essential.

Tell me about a time you faced a challenging goal and the steps you took to achieve it.

Look for a candidate who measures productivity by results rather than by number of hours worked. Even if a candidate discusses a goal they set and achieved in their personal life, odds are they take similar action in their professional life.

How do you ensure you complete all of your priorities on time?

Because accountants typically have multiple deadlines at one time, you want a candidate who effectively organizes their time. Look for a candidate who communicates with their supervisor and colleagues to complete their work before the due date.

What role do you play in the month-end close process?

Ask the candidate about their function and responsibility related to closing out the month for their current company. Ensure the candidate gives specifics about their role and discusses their accomplishments.

How do you minimize the risk for errors in your work?

Because small errors can lead to big financial issues, accountants need to be held to high standards. You want a candidate who fully reviews their work and utilizes checks and balances within their team to ensure the accuracy of their output. 

Describe your experience in developing business metrics.

Find out what role the candidate has had in developing business metrics. Look for a candidate who understands the value of business metrics and can help your company track and assess specific business processes as well.

Can you describe a time when you took the lead on the implementation of a project?

Look for a candidate who addresses potential issues before a situation gets out of hand. Being proactive reduces the potential for adverse outcomes.

Can you tell me about a time you had a difficult conversation with a manager or colleague?

Accountants may find reporting issues that need to be discussed with employees on their team or in other departments. Find out how the candidate handles these situations and whether their method would be effective for your organization.

How do you stay current with changes in the industry?

Because accounting is ever-evolving due to new laws and standards, find a candidate who stays update-to-date on those changes. Look for a candidate who subscribes to accounting publications, reads newsletters, attends educational events and/or participates in professional associations.

We Can Help

For help recruiting accounting professionals for your company, contact the team at MFA Talent Management